Black Cat

Going not gentle into that middle age.

A Tale of Two Seeds

Filed under: Health,Language,Nutrition and Diet — 28 July 2008 @ 3:23 pm

My friend minkymomo raved about the nutritional qualities and general tastiness of pumpkin seeds. So I stopped at a well-stocked health food store and picked up a package of shelled pumpkin seeds. But they looked grey. So I put them back on the shelf. But she said I should get some. So I picked them up again. They still looked so — grey. And wrong somehow. I put them back and picked them up a couple more times, and finally sighed and put them into my shopping basket.

On the way home I realized why they just didn’t look “right”. They were sunflower seeds. It said so right on the package. So I still don’t have any pumpkin seeds.

I don’t know why, but I just cannot keep in my mind the difference between pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds. Yeah, I know that pumpkins and sunflowers don’t look anything alike. But the shelled seeds do. Sort of. A bit. And their names — they both start with — uh, they both have “seed” in their name.

Every fall I buy Hokkaido pumpkins at the local farmer’s market. I slice them in half, scoop out the seeds, and bake the flesh of the pumpkin until soft. I scoop the cooked flesh into plastic containers and store in the freezer, until it’s time to make pumpkin soup or pumpkin pie. Yummy.

I dutifully rinse the seeds, lay them out to dry, keep them in a bowl until they rot, and then I throw them away. Every year. I keep hearing that they’re so nutritious. So I feel obligated to keep them. I tried eating a couple of seeds the first year I baked my own pumpkin. They’re fibrous, to put it charitably. I refuse to go through the hassle of shelling the damned things. And I certainly can’t buy them at the store because I get them as a bonus from the pumpkins that I buy.

And now I can’t even keep the names straight when I admit defeat and try to buy the things.

There are various sources which claim that it’s a simple matter to roast the seeds. Then they’re supposed to be edible without needing to be shelled.

So now I’m trying to use up the sunflower seeds which I bought, while I gear up for another Language Fail Moment at the health food store. Can she actually come home with a package of pumpkin seeds on her next shopping trip? Or will she hold out until the Hokkaido pumpkins are in season, and try, try again to do something with the bazillions of seeds that get scooped out of the pumpkins? Sigh.

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